Alfred Vargas: ‘With art, there’s always hope’

STAR CIRCUIT - Ricky L. Calderon (The Freeman) - March 3, 2021 - 12:00am

ABS-CBN was honored anew for its good corporate governance alongside other top organizations in the Philippines in the ASEAN Corporate Governance Scorecard (ACGS) Golden Arrow Awards, held virtually last Feb. 19.

Just like in 2018, ABS-CBN was the only media company that made it among the outstanding domestic publicly-listed companies that performed well in the ACGS in 2019.

The ACGS is an assessment tool used in six participating countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) including the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam to determine if an organization is being managed well and is compliant with government regulations.

The goal is to improve the corporate governance standards and practices of publicly-listed companies. Among the factors considered are the rights of shareholders, equitable treatment of shareholders, role of stakeholders, disclosure and transparency, responsibilities of the board, as well as bonus and penalty in organizations.

Aside from ABS-CBN, other companies from the Lopez Group were also recognized at the Golden Arrow Awards. These are Lopez Holdings Corporation and First Gen Corporation.

The ACGS Golden Arrow Awards is organized by the Institute of Corporate Directors, a non-stock, not-for-profit organization dedicated to the professionalization of Philippine corporate directorship.


“Completing a film born out of passion is a reward in itself. Being honored for it is an inspiration and a validation that we are on the right track.”

These are words from Alfred Vargas, lead actor and producer of the indie film ”Kaputol”, after receiving his trophy sent to him as an honoree, together with the cast of the film, by FDCP’s 5th Film Ambassadors’ Night (FAN).

In an online post, the FDCP explains that the Film Ambassadors’ Night “recognizes Filipino film industry creatives, artists, filmmakers, and the films of various formats that gained recognitions from established international film festivals and award giving bodies in the past year”.

“‘Kaputol’ is a passion project. Our production outfit, AV Cinema, produced it knowing that the chances of an ROI are almost nil. But the screenplay of Ricky Lee, based on the short film he and our director, McArthur Alejandre, collaborated on in the ‘80s, was too good to remain on paper. It just had to be done,” Alfred stated.

“Kaputol” won Best Performance for the entire cast at last year’s Innuendo International Film Festival in Milan, Italy. The film was also in competition in two other festivals, the Bengaluru International Film Festival in India and the Asian Film Festival in Rome.

“It was a pleasure working with Cherie Gil. Both of us played very challenging dual roles and in our scenes, the creative energy was palpable,” Alfred elucidates.

“It is a film within a film and Cherie, who portrays Kiki, a film director, and I, Robert, her close friend and a film actor, make a film where we both play the lead roles of Caloy (a “mangangalakal” or a junk scavenger) and Rina (a rebel in hiding) who are siblings. This is based on an unfinished script of Robert’s son (Ronwaldo Martin) who had been missing for four years. The physical demands of the roles were made more challenging by their emotional journey. And the entire acting ensemble gave superb performances. Angel Aquino as Maybelle, the lesbian lover of Kiki and Ronwaldo Martin as Conrad, the son, were brilliant. Included in the cast are some of the most respected names in theatre and the indie film movement; Soliman Cruz, Adrienne Vergara, Elora Espano, Lee O’Brian, Hector Calma, to name a few.”

Alfred, a TOYM awardee and a top congressman from the 5th district of Quezon City, is not only an awarded public servant and actor but an internationally awarded film producer. His last film, “Tagpuan,” a film he produced and starred in, has just won Best Feature Film in the Chauri Chaura International Film Festival in India.

“All these international recognitions have made me happy and proud. The people who work in film are cultural workers. We just don’t make films to earn. We make it to feed our soul and and contribute to the soul of the nation. Arts and culture help shape our identity and our nationhood; it helps synthesize our past and present to formulate a clearer perspective of our future. I’d like to thank the FDCP for honoring the film workers because in honoring them, they also honor the film community.”

In conclusion, Alfred said, “I also wish to honor everyone in our film community, and also the people in theatre, dance, music and other forms of art. We have all persevered in this very challenging time. Inspite of the challenges, we have found ways to survive and grow. Many years ago, as a student involved in theater, I have learned art is a collective and art is forever. With art, there is always hope.”


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